Cover Image: One for All

One for All

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Member Reviews

I loved the concept of this book, and the fact that it was officially released on Women’s Day (also my birthday) was a great choice! I loved the character development and how we started with a character lacking self worth, and grew through that. However, I did find it hard to get into in the beginning, and it wasn’t always super clear what was going on. For this I gave it four stars. I loved the concept but felt like there was a lot of unnecessary scenes.
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- ONE FOR ALL is a gender bent Three Musketeers retelling, with swashbuckling girls, fancy parties and mysterious machinations.
- Tania's chronic illness is central to her life, and I loved that this wasn't a story about "fixing" her, but learning how to both manage it herself and ask for help when she needs it.
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A gender-bent Three Musketeers? Yes, please! A YA read filled with action, sword fights and French, this is a fun suggestion for fans of Tamora Pierce's Alanna series. The main character has PCOS - causing dizzy spells and fainting, but doesn't have it stop her from finding out the cause of her Musketeer father's death. She finds camaraderie with other girls as she learns to be a Musketeer. Recommended for collections serving youth.
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One for All is a gender-bent retelling of The Three Musketeers and is overall a really fun story. It's got dancing and sword fighting, mystery and espionage, friendship and romance. What more could you want? The story is set in 17th century France and centers around Tania, who is so relatable in the way she struggles to feel like she belongs. Then she's given the opportunity to become a part of a secret group of female musketeers, and she's suddenly balancing building a new sisterhood, uncovering a plot to destroy the monarchy, and figuring out the truth about what happened to her father. It is definitely an action packed story!

I think that the story balances all of its different elements nicely. I liked the writing style, as well as the inclusion of French dialogue at time. I think it does a great job of bringing the reader into the time period and culture while still making things the characters deal with seem relevant and relatable. I found the plot interesting and liked the moments of action. The one main criticism I'd have is that there were a few moments that felt a little too rushed, especially in the romance department. Despite that, this was a really enjoyable read and I think others will really like it too.

The disability representation is one of my favorite parts of the story, of course. Tania has a chronic illness that goes unnamed in the story due to the time period, but in the Author's Note the author gives more info about and her own experience with Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS). I love how the story presents the realistic challenges and prejudices Tania faces due to her illness, while showing that it doesn't stop her from being a strong, formidable opponent to all who underestimate her. It's an important part of her experience, but it's not all of who she is. I love seeing this kind of representation in YA fiction, and I think this story handled it really nicely.

I also love the sisterhood in this story! Female friendships are one of my favorite things to read about. Tania's relationship with her three sisters in arms was even more fun to read about than the romance elements. Each girl has such a unique personality and they all blend together nicely. Each girl has her own insecurities or things she carries with her, but it doesn't stop any of them from kicking total butt! 

Overall I found this an enjoyable read. I'm definitely excited to see what other things Lillie Lainoff will come out with. If you like retellings full of action, mystery, and all of the extravagance of 17th century France, then you will love this story!
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I really liked this one! Great themes of sisterhood and found family. I can just imagine the movie or tv show. I love how much Tania’s character grew throughout. I hope there’s a part two!
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I'm sure there's an official name for this genre, but One for All is a tale of a young woman being pressured into feminine pursuits, when she'd rather swordfight and be a spy. Think Arya Stark or Sophronia from Gail Carriger's Etiquette & Espionage. The most interesting twist in this version is Tania is a person with a disability, so not only must face patriarchal assumptions about her gender, but societal expectations about her disability.

One for All is a retelling of the Three Musketeers. Tania's father is a retired Musketeer who teaches her to fence. When tragedy befalls her family, she is sent away to a School for Wives, in the auspices of being trained to join Parisian high society. Luckily for Tania, the real purpose of the school is to train girls to be Musketeers. With the friendship of her new found family, Tania solves the mystery and beats the bad guy, showing the world she is strong enough to survive and thrive as a heroine, even with her disability.

This book was entertaining, but not my favorite. I have not been a huge fan of the Three Musketeers. Since I read the whole Finishing School series before this, I kept wishing I was re-reading those. That's not to say this book isn't good, but I love Carriger's witticism.

One for All gets an A++ for disability rep, but I'd say a C for LGBTQ+ rep, even though I saw it marketed that way. Having two characters with a minor love story not integral to the plot is the minimum I hope for. I did enjoy the way Lainoff integrated French into the story, while also providing subtle translations. I'm interested to read her future work.
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what a delight! this story is a twist on the three musketeers, but make it girlboss and give it some really wonderful and fleshed-out disability represenation (POTS, specifically). i really adored the writing style and storytelling; i highlighted plenty of lines that i'm still thinking about. tania and her sisters were probably my favorite things about this book. reading about their espionage adventures while watching them coalesce into a family was pure delight. i really do just love a good shenanigan, as well as some really solid side characters and character development. 

my main and only critique comes down the pacing. i feel like there were parts of this book that took a bit to get kicked into gear but others felt a bit rushed (the ending especially). i'm eager to read the finalized physical copy i have to see of any changes that got made between the arc and the finished product.

overall, i thoroughly enjoyed one for all. a solid four point five stars. this was a really excellent debut and makes me really excited to check out anything else lillie lainoff puts out. 

see my moodboard on ig @acciocreativity!
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I loved the retelling and the gender switch of this novel but it lacked something I can not put my finger on. I enjoyed the characters and the plot but the pacing was off to me. The representation just didn’t seem right either and felt off. It was not forceful like many other titles but it just did not feel like it was placed or written well. Overall, it was a different retelling but needed some work.
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Am I crying in the corner over a Three Musketeers retelling or is because this story is just good soup? Queerness, disabilities shown and sisterhood focused is all it takes for me to go mush...or assassination plots.
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I really enjoyed this Three Musketeers retelling. The main character has a disability and I like that she doesn't let that stop her from being a Musketeer, but that she is also very aware of her own limitations and has coping strategies for it that she talks about. I also loved the sisterhood the girls all share, and how they all have very different backgrounds. There is a lot of great fun and sword-wielding and sisterhood/found family in this book. 

My only issue was the romance. For most of the book I actually liked it. Both the love interests seemed interesting and I could understand the lure of both of them. By the end of the book the main character is more focused on herself and her fellow Musketeers, which is totally fine, but the way the romance was concluded left a large hanging thread. It definitely feels like we could have used at least a few extra pages to either better explain she is with neither, or to wrap up the one romantic interest. 

However, this was still an enjoyable read, and I highly recommend it to lovers of sisterhood and action/adventure stories.
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One For All is a gender bent retelling of the Three Musketeers. Tania de Batz, is the daughter of a former Musketeer and feels most at home with a sword in her hand, which is blasphemous for a woman in France. She is close with her father, and at war with her mother. Tania's father gets mysteriously murdered one night and Tania's world turns upside down. It was his final wish that she go to a finishing school in Paris, which leaves Tania shocked and outraged. But, not everything is what it seems. Tania finds herself immersed in a secret all female version of the Musketeers and they have a secret mission. Tania's journey encompasses coming into her own and dealing with her disability and finding her place within this new family. 

I didn't love this as much as I thought I would. I went into it thinking that Tania would be more in control and confident within herself, but honestly I found her to be naïve and annoying at times. This book also had LQBTQ+ representation within it, which would have made it all the more interesting, but I had a really hard time figuring out what that representation was. I had to go look it up and even after figuring it out, it wasn't as prominent as I would have hoped for. I found it a bit boring and I wish Tania was a stronger female protagonist, I think it would have been better for the story as a whole. 
My thoughts and opinions could also be based on the fact that I am an adult reading a YA book. This story (and its characters) could better appeal to someone within the YA age range, so keep that in mind as well. 

Thank you to the publisher and to NetGalley for an advance copy, all opinions are my own.
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Thank you to Colored Pages Book Tours, Farrar, Straus and Giroux and Netgalley for an eARC in exchange for an honest review and promotion. All opinions are my own.

4.5/5

I really enjoyed this book and I want to see more disabled stories like this one!!

One for All is a genderbent retelling of the Three Musketeers. It follows Tania de Batz, the daughter of a former Musketeer and her greatest champion. Tania has chronic dizziness (postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome), but regardless of what everyone else thinks, Tania knows she's might to become a Musketeer. When her father is brutally murdered she thinks her dreams will fade to nothing. But when she arrives at L’Académie des Mariées, she finds something unexpected.

This was such a fun book. I can't speak much to the retelling aspect, because I know basically nothing about the Three Musketeers, but I really loved the sisterhood of the Academie! I came to love the other girls of the Academie so quickly. It was just the best girl gang I've read about in a while! I loved how the other girls gave Tania accommodations when she needed them, but refused to let her believe she's weak or a burden.

Tania was such a strong character and I really loved her. She's spent a lot of her life isolated and seeing her befriend the other girls and begin to make a home for herself was such an empowering storyline. I loved all of the fencing practice, and I definitely could've used more of it. More duels too! More swords are always a good idea.

Both Tania and I have invisible disabilities. Seeing how that impacts every part of your life is so validating. Tania's hesitancy around doctors and strangers is something all too familiar. It's so easy to believe what people tell you about being lazy or faking it or not actually in that amount of pain. And it just hurts. No matter how "well meaning" some of these comments can be.

Overall, I had a lot of fun with this book and I hope we see more MC's with chronic illnesses and disabilities take center stage across all genres and age categories.

Rep: white Russian-French cishet female MC with postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), sapphic cis female side characters, aroace cis female side character.

CWs: Ableism, chronic illness, death of parent, death, murder. Moderate: Sexual assault (of side character), blood, gore, violence, emotional abuse, medical trauma.
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This is an interesting story, blending together the challenges of being a young women in this time and the challenges of handling a chronic illness was well done. I appreciated seeing how the characters helped support Tania, and trying to find ways to make handling her illness easier, The musketeer aspects of their training was also really cool, especially seeing them grow closer and learning to trust each other, The plot was well done but a little predictable. I would enjoy seeing more of these characters.
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Not to be dramatic, but this book literally meant the world to me. The sick girl was the hero and she did it without having to be “fixed”. She started out sick and she ended the book sick and she wasn’t without her struggles but she persevered. And not only that but the plot was engaging and the writing was great! I’m not a big historical fiction reader but this book is definitely the exception. And the friendships and found family trope was done beautifully! Overall this book was just fabulous.
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**3.5-stars rounded up**

One for All is pitched as a gender-bent retelling of The Three Musketeers, but don't go into it expecting an actual retelling. I would classify this as more of a continuation of the Musketeer legends, but with female protagonists.

Our intrepid hero is Tania de Batz, who hasn't let her chronic illness smother her dreams. That's her mother's job. Tania's father is a former Musketeer who has regaled his daughter with stories of his adventures. Tania aspires to be like him, to be a fencer and to protect the crown from harm. Her loving father supports her, until the day he is mysteriously killed.

While Tania's mother wants nothing more than to marry her daughter off, for her own good, of course, Tania's father's final wish was for her to attend L’Académie des Mariées. A finishing school! Tania can't believe her father would wish such a thing upon her. Isn't that just the final stop before finding a suitable husband!?

Luckily for Tania, her father had her back after all. L’Académie isn't a finishing school. It's a secret training ground for female Musketeers. Musketeers who will front as socialites, but are actually seeking out intel to stop attacks on the crown. They're like crazy secret spy ladies who never back down from a fight. We love that!

For the first time at L’Académie, Tania feels accepted. She doesn't feel like her newfound sisters-in-arms are judging her because of her illness. They trust in her and her abilities. Then a boy comes along. Leave it to a boy to spoil things. Etienne is Tania's first target and he gets under her skin in all the wrong ways.

This is a fun book. I enjoyed getting to know Tania and following her journey as she finally got the chance to achieve her dream of becoming a Musketeer. I was drawn to her struggles from the very beginning. I felt for her, the way her mother treated her. It was sad and frustrating, but I sort of got where her mother was coming from, even though I didn't agree with her.

I loved the relationship between Tania and her father though. It was heartbreaking that he was taken from her so soon. Her ambitions to follow in his footsteps seemed like an impossibility at the time for a woman, but he found the way to make it so. I also really loved the found-family aspect of this story. Once Tania arrives at school and meets her new sisters, that was so fantastic. The dynamics between all the girls was strong and believable. They made a great team!

While the plot of this didn't grab me quite as strongly as I had been hoping for, I still really enjoyed my time listening to the audiobook. Overall, I think One for All is a great story. Sure, it helps that it's inspired by one of my all-time favorite classics. I loved having female Musketeers!

Thank you so much to the publisher, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, as well as RB Media, for providing me with copies to read and review. This is an impressive debut for Lillie Lainoff. I can't wait to see what she writes next!!
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One for All is my most anticipated book of this year, and probably will keep that title for a few years, to be honest. I found out about it last year during a CYMERA panel when I mentioned my dream of one day writing a story with a disabled protagonist and some kindly soul told me about Lillie’s book. I was so excited to hear about One for All, not just because it was a book about a disabled heroine with a chronic illness (and that’s important, I’ll explain why in a moment), BY a disabled author, but because I am a huge fan of The Three Musketeers. There had been various cartoon versions throughout my childhood, notable Dogtanian and Albert the fifth Musketeer on CBBC. In 1993 Disney’s The Three Musketeers came out, and I fell even further in love with the story. When The Man in the Iron Mask came out in 1998 it sparked my interest again and at thirteen years of age I was finally old enough to seek out and read the original book by Alexander Dumas. I had intended to follow up with the rest of The D’Artagnan Romances but back then we didn’t have the Internet, let alone Amazon so getting hold of them was not that easy. They’re still on my to read list (what can I say? I get distracted by more books… a lot :D).

I was a tomboy growing up, and naturally I was enthralled with the sword fighting in The Three Musketeers, however, it was the strong female character of Milady de Winter that always drew my attention. She was my first experience with a villain that I had morally grey feelings about, and I was mesmerised by what she represented; a powerful woman who could bring a powerful country like France to it’s knees with subterfuge. One for All takes the positives that I saw in Milady de Winter and spins them into a mission for Tania and the other young ladies of L’Académie des Mariées. They are not at a finishing school to find them a husband, rather they are female Musketeers using their feminine wiles and gender as a shroud to fool men into letting slip valuable intelligence. While they learn how to laugh just so, to turn their lips into a smile that gives just the right amount of attention, they are training to be Musketeers, learning spy craft and to duel.

Tania being a disabled protagonist is important, especially since just the other day a non-disabled author used the excuse that writing about disabled characters was always going to be “high risk” when faced with criticism of her book about a disabled character. I won’t get into whether that criticism was rightly deserved or not, this isn’t a review of that book, however, that attitude is one that is prevalent not just through literature, but through the whole of pop culture. I held back on interviewing Lillie for my spot on the One for All book tour because I had the honour of doing so last September for GeekDis, a discussion about disability representation in pop culture. We talked in detail about this topic, especially how there is a readership for disabled stories.

Often when a disabled character appears in a book or film, their disability is physical. It’s visible, they use mobility aids. Tania has a chronic illness, what is known as an invisible illness, and there is a scene in the book where her illness is discovered by a potential suitor, when she is revealed to not be as normal as she appears. It is heartbreaking, it is painful, and it is absolutely real. One for All shows the negativity that disabled people have to deal with every single day, and while this is a historical novel the attitudes are NOT historical. People still believe that we are contagious (I myself have had someone yell that I was “diseased” at me in public), they believe that we should be left to die in the back alleys of a city (just look at the pandemic), and many (thankfully not all – there are good people out there, I swear) turn their noses up at the thought of dating us. Even worse, we are mentally, physically and emotionally abused, and that’s not including those of us who are women, LGBTQA+ or those whose skin is a different colour or practise another religion.

There will be some who read One for All and confine it to the works of fiction, that the idea of a disabled woman being able to do all the things Tania does is mere fantasy. Or that even if it is possible that it’s a one off, that Lillie who has achieved what Tania manages and more in her athletic career, was a one off. That is one of the best things about One for All; it doesn’t magically erase Tania’s POTS (Postural tachycardia syndrome). It’s there all the time. Every time she moves, every time she wants to do something she has to think about how to do it within the limits of her dizziness. I loved the little trick with her toes! That is the authentic experience of a disabled writer verses a non-disabled writer. While a non-disabled writer can research how POTS affects a person, what the symptoms are, and they can talk to people who have POTS, they can’t simulate what it is like to live with it, to find ways to steady yourself and to adapt, so you can manage in a world that isn’t designed for your body. I have very different disabilities to POTS, however, the feeling of being unstable on my feet, of my body suddenly betraying me, was instantly recognisable. I was much the same age as Tania was when my ankles suddenly decided that being stable and upright was no longer the plan, and twisting this way and that was much more fun. I could just be walking along and oft, there goes the world. My worst injury occurred just stepping off the school bus.

There are no words to say how much it meant to read in a book where a father put up a fence especially, so that his daughter had a support for walking. Where Tania’s sisterhood just automatically stepped in to support her, and (historically accurate) accessibility was designed and installed for her without her having to ask. For all the awful attitudes that are portrayed in One for All, Lillie does the one thing that I find missing in many books about disabled characters; shows the support network we have. In Tania’s time chronically ill people are shunned, so they don’t tend to hang out in groups, as we do in real life. Instead, Tania’s sisterhood are girls who all understand what it is like to be made to feel weak in some way. Each one of them have their own storyline which we learn over the course of the book. There’s chatting and creative Théa, quiet and calculative Aria, and loud and warm Portia.

Like Tania, they have all fell down and picked themselves back up, sometimes alone and sometimes with someone to help them. By the time Tania joins them they have become the type of people who do not let people fall alone, and it is just what Tania needs in her life. There is a moment when Tania has a bad day after having multiple good ones, and Portia tries to understand, to place herself in Tania’s shoes, not out of malice but to try to help. When she asks Tania what she would like to do, Tania finds herself snapping; “It’s not what I want to do, it’s what I can do”. She immediately apologises, fearing that Portia will react as others have with anger and disgust. Instead, Portia admits that she “deserved that”.

It’s just a small scene, but as someone who has been both the snapper and on the receiving end of the snap, it was so wonderfully familiar. Like Tania, I have feared how people would react, and have had both the bad and the good reactions. It has taken me time to let people in, to accept that people like Théa, Aria and Portia could and do exist without ulterior motives. Similarly, I’ve been Portia who has sat helplessly trying to help someone I care about and said something without thought. It’s the small moments like this that tie all the bigger parts, the intrigue and adventure together and make One for All into something truly special.

I have spent a lot of this review talking about disability representation, and that is because as someone with seven chronic health conditions, this is a very personal book for me. You may be wondering whether One for All can offer anything to those who are non-disabled or have no interest in disabled topics. The answer is yes, most definitely. This is a story of adventure, intrigue and of overcoming adversity and whether that comes in the form of illness or something else, every single person has had to overcome something in their life. One for All is about finding your sisterhood (or found family, whoever they may be), the people who help you become the person you want to become. The people who accept you for who you are no matter what, who help you overcome your weaknesses and adapt them, so you can navigate the world on your terms. And of course, there is sword fighting. It wouldn’t be a musketeer book without it now, would it? 😉 And with Lillie’s background in fencing each scene is written with the incredible clarity of real life knowledge.

At the moment One for All is a standalone novel BUT Lillie has made it known that a sequel may happen if there is demand for it and that demand depends on book sales. I can only hope that my review has helped nudge you in that direction, if not, believe me when I say that this is one book you need to read. It’s not just a fabulous story with engaging characters and brilliant prose, it is a book that is quite literally changing the publishing world. If you have ever wanted to support the disabled community, to make a real dent in changing disability representation in pop culture then please go buy this book and help change perceptions. Help us show that people want to read stories that include disabled characters, not just disabled readers, but people who want to read diverse stories because the world is diverse, and we love it that way.
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Have you ever heard the saying (not the Groucho Marx version, but the earnest one) about becoming a member of a club you don't want to be a member of? It might just be pretty common in the circles I've run in, because I've mostly heard people talk about it in relation to loss - How you never want to become &/or welcome a new member to the parents of kids who've died club, or the widows' club. Definitely clubs you do not want to belong to, ever.  Logical.  And yet somehow - once you ARE a member - the people in these clubs/groups with you become some of the most important in your whole damn life? Members that save you, and that you save, time and time again?

I'm a long-time member of the chronically ill girls' club, and boy does the initiation SUCK. Worst, continuous hazing ever, and yet? The (worldwide, online, offline, near, far, complete strangers until the absolute moment they're not) sorority of sick girls has saved my life, many, many times over. Because there's nobody who knows the experience except the people who know.  It's why Boot Camp is good for creating troop morale & cohesiveness, right?  - People who experience the same sorts of suffering just get it in ways other people don't.

And I've previously talked *so many times* about how the same goes for books, so y'all know I have a special place in my heart for books about sick girls. Especially when they're written by & for sick girls. So I'm going to start this review at the end of Lillie Lainoff's One for All, with part of her ending author's note. It doesn't really spoil anything, but it does explain a major plot point. So if you don't want that information - re: the heroine's chronic illness diagnosis - please just skip over the quoted paragraph.

Tania’s experience is just one of thousands of unique experiences. She does not, and cannot, represent every person with POTS—or for that matter, every person with a chronic illness. But she does represent my experience as a chronically ill young woman. I was never a teen in seventeenth-century France, dueling in ball gowns … but I was the girl in high school who hid in the bathroom between classes in order to take medication without anyone seeing. ... When I was at my most sick as a teenager, I lost myself in books, despite never seeing myself in their pages. I thought that meant stories like mine, about people like me, weren’t worthy of being told. That chronically ill, disabled girls couldn’t be main characters. That because I was sick, I’d never be the hero of my own story. I can’t go back in time. I can’t reach out to that girl and tell her that she is worthy and good and that it is okay to trust others. That there is nothing, absolutely nothing, to be ashamed of. But what I can do is use what I am good at—turning words into stories—to prevent disabled readers from feeling that way now. I am not Tania, but Tania is a part of me. A sick girl, a brave girl, a girl who learns to love herself. The hero of her own story. And now, here she is. She belongs to all of you.

There isn't a word in this quote that I couldn't have written myself (except the part about writing this specific book, of course), and - even though I read it last - it was evident on every page of Lainoff's book that Tania was important to her in this way. That the story was important to her in this way -> She seemed set - from the very first page - on showing the very real trauma, tensions, beliefs, hopes & fears of a girl who can't trust her body, not in the way everybody else can, even in an almost idealized setting. The story of a girl who has learned - through hard-earned experience - that the people in her life are now less reliable too: That they see her differently, treat her differently, expect different things from her (or nothing at all from her, or too much from her), & that she has only herself to rely on. And how all of those things can be turned on their head just as quickly as they were the first time - by illness - yet again, when the RIGHT people come into her life. The kind of people that help her realize there's more to them, and to herself, than she previously thought.

Wow, does Lainoff tell that story - Tania's story, and her story, and my story too - SO, SO well.

But I should go back a bit, and explain the actual story better: Starting with the basics -> All for One is a gender-bent retelling of The Three Musketeers that includes aforementioned chronically ill teenage girl & three others, who take up residence in a fancy French 'finishing school' that isn't exactly what it appears to be. The other girls have already been there training for a while when Tania shows up, after the murder of her father, but - amidst fencing and flirting lessons, missions & mishaps - the four bond rather quickly.  I don't actually want to go too in-depth regarding the ins and outs of the plot of the book, because I want to go <really> in-depth about the plot of the book. Like I had a highlight on just about every page of the book, so we're not going to do THAT kind of in-depth. Instead, I'm going to give you the very brief rundown about the rest: A plot to kill the King of France (who is also a snotty teenager himself, and doesn't really respond well to suggestions that would keep him safest); surveillance & subterfuge at all the important events of the Season, in full best-dressed Parisian young lady's fashions, of course; boys and men enter the party, mess everything up, make everything more complicated, and the race to protect the king gets more dangerous & deceptive every page.

I appreciated so much of what Lainoff does here, from the stories she is telling to how she tells the story - the quality of the writing, the wit & humor & heart she imbues these girls & their supporting cast with. But I'm trying to rave about the book, while also not spoiling anything, while also wanting to quote from its first page to its last.  There's almost nothing about this book that I didn't love. And even the thing I didn't love was just so TRUE, that its inclusion is still part of why I love the book so much.

The part I don't love (but which contributes to the love) is our heroine's internalized ableism. I don't love it, but holy shit, do I U N D E R S T A N D it. I too, was a teenage girl who suddenly found the legs beneath her didn't want to support her anymore, and the whole world changed with them. Who found that the friends you make when things are easier, sometimes just don't make the effort to stay your friends when things get hard. And that others decide - out of fear, mostly, of also being seen as 'other' - that you need to be their enemy instead. Or how, when you have something nobody understands - and which, in 17th century France, was only seen not only as a physical failing, but, often, as moral & intellectual deficits as well - even your family often can't see past it to see YOU. So, when Tania talks about the judgement she feels everyone around her making all the time, and how insidious that way of thinking becomes, how reasonable, to the point that, before long, anyone who's looking at her for ANY reason could ONLY be looking at her because they see her inadequacies, her weakness, how pathetic she is. Well... I hated it, but it certainly rang true. There's a point where she's just been introduced to the other girls, and they're talking about how things just feel 'right' now that they've all connected.  And Tania's thoughts then? Are heartbreakingly familiar: "Today was the first time I’d felt a glimmer of hope in the lining of my rib cage that perhaps there were people other than my parents who cared about me and my feelings—not friends, I couldn’t let myself think that, but people who understood I could be strong and need help at the same time." "I couldn't let myself think that," she says, and teenage me nods along.  Adult me is so, so glad that the sick girls of today have these kinds of books to read, to see themselves in, and to feel less isolated because of. 

And will you like it even if you're lucky enough to NOT be a member of the sick girl sorority? If you like feminist fantasy, filled with intricate characters, each as important as the next, you will. If you like books with a great sense of space and time and historical weight, different enough from the 'usual suspects' (say... Victorian England's Ton in Season, perhaps) that you might learn or re-learn some actual history you hadn't thought of in a good bit of time, you will. If you like books that explore the societal limitations placed on certain groups of peoples in those times - not just sick & disabled people, but also women as a whole, or people of different classes, all of which are taken up with vigor in the text - and how the might have been challenged, if our history had just been two or three degrees different, you will. If you're interested at all in political intrigue and secret societies, then yes: You will enjoy this book.

I don't want to sully this review by rehashing this week's Ableist Reading Discourse, both because it's too good a book for that, and because there's always a new Ableist Reading Discourse of the week to bang my head against.  Instead, I'm just going to say how happy I am that I saw Lillie Lainoff's tweets about said nonsense, because her book came out on Tuesday, which means I can tell all of you to go find it, immediately.  You lucky people! I got the ARC from NetGalley, but, when I mentioned that to Lainoff on same Twitter threads, she assured me that the finalized version was even better, so I'm going to buy myself a new copy as well.







*I mean, unless you've also read it already and want to compare notes, because, hit me up friends :)
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Ever since she was a little girl, Tania wanted to grow up to be a musketeer like her father. But, aside from being a girl, there's something else that stands in her way: she gets dizzy spells, so bad she faints, so bad she's sometimes bedridden for days. Her father keeps practicing swordwork with her, while her mother want to marry her off so she'll have security as she gets older.
When her father is murdered, Tania's mother finds a letter from him in his desk drawer, stating that he wants her to attend a prestigious finishing school in Paris. Tania reels at this revelation-- her father always stood up for her, and she sees this letter as a betrayal. But once she arrives in Paris, she finds that things are not always as they seem. The school is the headquarters of a spy operation, and Tania, along with the three other attendees, as tasked with uncovering and stopping a plot to assassinate the king.

One for All is a beautiful story of friendship, womanhood, and disability. It's full of intrigue, action, and aching humanity, and I firmly believe everyone should read it.
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Talk about a debut flex! The One for All audiobook—which I was generously given access to via RB Media on NetGalley—is narrated by Mara Wilson. Yes, that Mara Wilson of ‘90s Matilda film fame. Her penchant for drawing in listeners is well put to work in this action-packed novel that features a disabled main character on a path of vengeance. 

As you’ve likely assumed from the title, this novel is a Musketeer book—of sorts. One for All chronicles the life of Tania de Batz, daughter of one of the famous Musketeers, as she is sent to a charm school by her father after he can no longer maintain her secret swordplay training. Time in her small town has shown her that people are cruel to people with disabilities—which includes her. As a result, Tania is reluctant to trust in the people she is introduced to at L’Académie des Mariées. This changes after she is told the secret of the school—its reputation as one that garners noble marriages for its pupils is just a cover, and is in fact run in collaboration with the Musketeer academy, training young women how to be battle-ready spies. These are skills that are immediately put to the test once Tania obtains a level of competency. She attends balls with senior students to help her learn who to interact with at court, which Tania hopes will lead her to answers about the fate of her father. What she finds instead is a family of new sisters who swear to have her back, a love interest or two, and more intrigue surrounding the mystery she hopes to unravel about her father than she can possibly handle on her own. 

Lillie Lainoff, author of One for All, draws richly from her own experiences to make Tania’s struggles feel personal yet critical of the patriarchal and ableist society of the story. While Tania’s found family does a wonderful job in adjusting different environments in consideration of Tania’s needs, the fact that they must continually do so highlights the erasure of people with disabilities in the social circles they interact with. This is a fine book to look towards for an examination of the strong female lead complex because it displays how a well-attuned community builds each member up where they need it. What use is there in being a strong person on your own? Once you find people who support you for all you are, standing on your own is no longer appealing.
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I really wanted to love this book. Unfortunately, it did not live up to expectations. The story felt disjointed which caused me to loose interest around the sixth chapter. I kept reading because I wanted to know who the the criminal(s) were. However, if someone would have told me what chapter to go turn to when said persons are captured, I would have skipped over numerous chapters and saved myself some time and energy.

It was nice to see a character with a disability and the support she had of her newfound sisterhood. The reveal of two characters sexual identity felt ill misplaced.
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